By Joshua Meadors
The 2017 Academic Performance Profiles (a.k.a. Peer Institution Reports) are now available for both El Camino College and Compton Center. You can access them from the following links:
These reports are based on data from IPEDS. We generally caution against making direct institutional comparisons because every college and community is different, with unique challenges, goals, and influential factors. However, these reports are particularly useful for improving accountability and examining trends across a group of institutions that share similar characteristics like size, student demographics, and geographical location. More detailed summaries of these reports are provided below.
The group of peer institutions for El Camino College (ECC) includes:
Long Beach City College (LBCC)
Mount San Antonio College (Mt. SAC)
Pasadena City College (PCC)
Santa Monica College (SMC)
ECC tends to perform near the middle of this peer group, although the entire peer group performs objectively well on the given measures. ECC’s performance also tends to be more consistent than its peers, with fewer fluctuations or directional “swings” in the data. Despite consistent performance near the middle of the group, ECC does tend to lead the peer group in persistence rates (see chart below) as well as transfer rates calculated as a proportion of enrollment.
As a whole, enrollment for this peer group has been gradually increasing since Fall 2011. Student enrollment is still primarily focused in non-distance education courses, but a number of students are taking “hybrid” combinations of distance education and non-distance education courses. Over the past five years, success rates have slightly decreased for ECC’s peer group. However, almost every institution in this peer group exhibits the same pattern of success rates (see chart below), with declines between Fall 2012 and Fall 2014 followed by a gradual increase beginning in Fall 2015.
For more details on information like retention, persistence, completion, and transfer destinations, please consult the full ECC report.
The group of peer institutions for Compton Center includes:
Los Angeles Southwest College (LASC)
Merritt College (located in Oakland, CA)
West Los Angeles College (WLAC)
Depending on the measure, Compton tends to perform near the middle of its peer group. However, comparisons are potentially more skewed in Compton’s peer group due to the dissimilarity between some of the peer institutions (e.g., Cerritos’s much larger student population and Merritt’s much different geographic location). There are also starker differences in student ethnicity for Compton’s peer group (see chart below). Nevertheless, Compton tends to show consistent and continuous improvement where other institutions may be exhibiting fluctuations or declines (e.g., success, retention, and persistence rates).
As a whole, enrollment for this peer group has been relatively stable since Fall 2011. Student enrollment is focused in non-distance education courses for most of these peer institutions, with the exception of WLAC which has a much more substantial proportion of students taking only distance education courses or a hybrid combination. Each peer institution shows a different pattern of success rates when examining the five-year period from Fall 2012 to Fall 2016, but Compton exhibits a relatively consistent increase during this time period. Likewise, Compton shows a continuous increase in retention rates during this five-year period. Although Compton had previously reported some of the lowest retention rates, the constant improvement has yielded Fall 2016 rates comparable to the rest of the peer group (see chart below).
For more details on information like persistence, completion, and transfers, please consult the full Compton Center report.